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Would you date a guy with HPV?

Discussion in 'Anonymous Support and Advice' started by Anonymous, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Anonymous

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    I was recently diagnosed with HPV and that sort of forced me out of the closet. I've only had three partners i could have caught this from. One was an ex and the other two were guys i briefly dated. Sex was protected each and every-time except with the ex, but he claims he was a virgin before we met.

    Anyway, aside from wanting to shoot myself, i'm trying to be logical and understand what life will look like in the future. I'm smart, educated, and pretty well off independently but now i have this curse. I feel like no one will ever want to be with me if i tell them. I've never felt like such a vulnerable person before and have pretty much lost all desire to date or have sex.

    So if i could ask honestly, would any of you guys with or without HPV consider dating a guy with HPV? They say it goes away but it's always there, sort of like chicken pox, and there's now a vaccine that can protect a guy from catching my strain. But i still feel like a leper. My friend keeps telling me most guys will, because i'm a catch, but i just cant register it in my mind so i thought i'd ask you guys.

    Please be honest and thanks for your reply
     
  2. Lexington

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    I've been asked in the past if I'd date a guy who was HIV+. And I've said, honestly, that I would. If I liked the guy enough to date him, his HIV status wouldn't be sufficient to change my mind. (If he lied about it until after we were dating for awhile, then I'd have an issue, but it would be with his non-disclosure, not his health.) Given that, I sincerely doubt that I'd have a problem with someone with HPV. It would presumably mean alterations on our sexual options, but I'm pretty adjustable when it comes to that. :slight_smile:

    Lex
     
  3. Zontar

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    HPV isn't quite as deadly as HIV. Nevertheless, I would probably say no. I'm 100% clean and expect my partners to be.
     
  4. Anonymous

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    Well, I wouldn't, but that's more because of the whole HPV->cancer thing, and I'm stuck in a shape that is annoyingly susceptible to it. Then again, you probably don't care for this body any more than I do, so I think you're clear of wondering if you're going to give your partner cervical cancer :grin:

    Were I as I ought, however, HPV+ isn't a deal breaker.
     
  5. Anonymous

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    Weird, I just got my first HPV shot. When you get all three does that make everything clear? They don't protect against every strain though so dunno
     
  6. flymetothemoon

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    First off, yes, I would date someone with HPV. Of course, I would want them to disclose that they have it, and I would want to take precautions, but I definitely wouldn't completely discount a partner because they have HPV.

    Secondly, there are a few misconceptions about HPV that I'd really like to make sure you have cleared up that might help you feel better about yourself, especially since some of them have been mentioned in this post.

    The biggest one is that all strains of HPV mean cancer. Just because you have HPV does not mean you will get cancer, nor does it mean that your future partners will get cancer. In fact, if you have a strain that causes genital warts, it DOES NOT cause cancer.

    Another thing is that HPV is not nearly as uncommon as people think. There are MANY, MANY, MANY people who have HPV and don't even know it. There is no HPV test for men, so if they happen to have one of the more dangerous strains of the virus that cause cancer instead of genital warts, they are out there spreading HPV without ever knowing they're doing it.

    So here is the part where you are actually in a better place than many despite the fact that you are HPV positive. You KNOW you have HPV. You can learn how to manage risks for yourself and your future partners. You can let them know what is going on and work with them to help keep them HPV free.

    Yes, you absolutely SHOULD tell future partners about your HPV positive status. And yes, there will probably be some people that will choose not to take the risk. But there are so many people out there who will be willing to work with you to keep themselves safe and will still give you the chance. My biggest piece of advice to you when telling future partners would be to make sure they have accurate information (especially about the whole cancer thing if you have a non-cancer causing strain) and to let them know that you are 100% committed to doing everything you can to try to prevent transmission of HPV to anyone else. You could even offer to go to a doctor with them to talk about options for preventing transmission if they would like now or later when the time comes. Then just give them some time and let them process if they need it.
     
  7. flymetothemoon

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    If you get the shot, it prevents you from getting certain strains in the future, but it won't clear up any infection you already have, so no, it wouldn't make everything clear. That being said, even if you have HPV already, the shot can be worth it because it can prevent being infected with other strains.
     
  8. Ianthe

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    HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. According to the CDC, at least 50% of sexually active men and women will contract HPV at some point in their lives. And the rate is higher among gay and bisexual men.

    Anyone who refuses to date someone with this disease is seriously cutting down their dating pool.

    It's wise for gay and bisexual men to get annual anal pap tests, just as women get annual pap smears. (Anal pap tests are also wise for women who routinely engage in anal sex.)

    Most people who have HPV don't know it. Most of the time, it isn't detectable. Refusing to date someone who has been diagnosed with HPV is just silly, since a large percentage of the dating pool has it but just haven't been diagnosed.

    Condoms do not fully protect against HPV, because it can be spread from areas not covered by them.

    It's not really possible for a sexually active person to say with confidence that they do not have HPV.
     
  9. Anonymous

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    Does it make sex with HPV people okay, though? How would you find out what strain they have?
     
  10. flymetothemoon

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    I don't think there's a way to know what strain they have. I mean, I wouldn't have unprotected sex with someone who you know has HPV because you have had the vaccine, but I do know the vaccine protects against the most common strains so I'd say its a good idea to get it if you can especially if you know you're with someone has HPV. But I would definitely still suggest using condoms (although like someone else mentioned, that's not 100% effective either, but certainly still a good idea)
     
  11. Anonymous

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    Thank you guys so much for responding so honestly, i sincerely appreciate it, I'm hoping to analyze and deal with your comments and responses in preparation of the day when i have to tell someone in person. Right now I'm just avoiding everyone that is interested in me, because I'm just way too chicken shit to deal with this in person right now.

    But i do want to spread the word that i NEVER had unprotected sex with anyone but my ex and he was a virgin (sure there's a small chance he lied, but its unlikely, he has no symptoms). I never had sex with anyone who had a cold sore/pimple or anything that looked even remotely like a spot, wart or scar on their genitals, i checked (literally CHECKED) and questioned them before hitting the sack. I've turned down guys over this, i've been as cautious as i think any reasonable person can be but here i am... It's like a very cruel joke. Also, when i was diagnosed and i noticed the wart (its the wart causing kind), i was completely clueless as to where i could have gotten it. I hadn't had sex in over a year (I'm not very sexually active) and the only reason it showed up is because i got a hemorrhoid while lifting weights/squatting and i think that pressure on my lower body made it "appear." So it's possible i've had this for who knows how long but only through trauma in that site or an immune system suppression, it shows up. Which has me wondering if anyone exposed to HPV will eventually have symptoms in the future if their body is ever immune compromised or they have any sort of trauma.

    I think it's true what they say, the only safe sex is no sex. I don't know that people know how easily and invisibly it can be to catch HPV. Herpes and HIV are less common but seem to take up all of the headlines, meanwhile, HPV seems like a mystery, i mean how can you protect yourself from an invisible disease?

    But again, thank you guys, you are helping me immensely.
     
  12. Mirko

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    Hi there! Yep, I would date and be in a relationship with someone who is HPV positive. As long as my date/partner is honest about it and tells me upfront, I don't have an issue with it. I would definitely be more cautious, and take extra precautions, when it comes to the sex department. But, if I would refuse to date someone or turn my back on them after they told me that they are HPV positive, it would fly against everything I believe in.
     
  13. Mogget

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    Like Lex, I would date someone who was HIV positive, so HPV isn't an issue at all for me. Besides, I've been inoculated against at least one of the strains.
     
  14. Anonymous

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    Wow, stop right there. You make it sound like your life is over.

    Most HPV infections dissapear in 90% of cases within two years, and about 45% of the 20-25 year old population in the US has at least one strain of HPV.

    It is very possibly to transmit this even while using a condom, you can transfer it by hand so I really do not see why you're beating yourself up over this.
     
  15. Anonymous

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    I am above poster, did not mean to quote Liam, ignore that.
     
  16. KaraBulut

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    It's interesting to note that there are over 100 different strains of HPV. Some strains just cause warts. Some cause warts on the hands. Some cause warts on the feet. Some cause warts on the genitals. Some cause cancer in the mouth and throat. Some cause cancer of the cervix or anus. Some strains show no visible signs at all.

    If you have ever had a wart anywhere on your body, you have HPV.

    However, we have a much different attitude about the strains that cause genital warts- much in the same way we have a different attitude about herpes when it's cold sores on the mouth versus herpes that affects the genitals.

    Quite a few of the people who have anogenital HPV don't know they have it. So it's a false sense of security to assume that someone who says they don't have genital HPV is safe. And it's also a bit disingenuous to say you will or won't have sex with someone who has HPV. Chances are, if you're sexually active on a college campus, you have already had sex with someone who has HPV. It's that common in people in their twenties.



    Just to be clear-

    The HPV vaccine is designed to protect against cancer. It doesn't protect you from warts.

    The vaccine covers the strains that cause the most aggressive forms of oral, anal and genital cancers (strains 6, 11, 16 and 18). The vaccine covers only 4 of the over 100 different strains of HPV.

    Strains 6 and 11 (which are covered in the vaccine) can cause anogenital and oral warts, as well as cancer. Unfortunately, there's about another half dozen strains that cause oral and anogenital warts that aren't covered by the vaccine.

    It's important that young people get the vaccine to help stop the spread of strains 16 and 18 which cause the majority of anogenital cancers. This applies to straight people and GLB people. The recommendation is that you get the 3 shots before you are sexually active.

    If you are already sexually active, talk to your doctor about whether you should get the vaccine.


    Honestly, we don't know nearly enough about HPV and HSV. We're still learning about it.

    There's a false sense of security that we've inadvertently encouraged where straight people now believe that they don't have to use condoms for vaginal sex because it's low risk for HIV. We've also assumed that oral sex is "low risk" because we were focusing only on HIV and HSV. And straight people have gotten more and more interested in anal sex because of the straight porn industry and the assumption that because it is okay because it cannot result in pregnancy.

    Obviously, we have a lot to learn and HPV is changing a lot of the recommendations about "safer sex".

    One thing that we used to encourage back in 1980s was that everyone chose their partners wisely. That means not making decisions about sex when you're drunk. That means getting to know your partners well because you get involved sexually. And it means limiting the number of partners that you have.

    But, as Anonymous' story shows, even if you limit the number of partners, there is always a certain amount of risk involved.
     
    #16 KaraBulut, Nov 9, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  17. Anonymous

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    Thanks for all the info Kara!

    Do you think I should tell me hetero friends about Gardasil or do you think it's kind of limited to gay men? Think insurance coverage too, because I was almost afraid that mine wouldn't cover it since I'm male. Many websites indicate, probably very ignorantly, that it's just for straight women and us gay men.

    I've been holding off on this shot for years actually because of being closeted. To any of you out there with that same concern, DON'T DO THAT!
     
  18. KaraBulut

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    As of Dec 2010, it is recommended for young men.

    The recommendation is based upon the logic that the way to curb infections in women that can lead to cervical cancer is to immunize the source of their infection (namely, men), too.

    So, yes. Your hetero friends should get immunized.
     
  19. Anonymous

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    Can the vaccine protect against the strains tha cause throat/anal cancers and warts?
     
  20. Pret Allez

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    Hey, I am really sorry that happened to you. Yes, I absolutely would. First of all, I have had my HPV vaccination (although my rounds are not yet complete). Second, I actually trust safer sex procedures with my life, unlike so many other people when the cards are really down. I would even bottom with an HIV+ guy if his viral load were low and we were using a condom. (I recently read a summary of a metastudy showing that seroconversion rate is extraordinarily low if safer sex practices are followed.

    While many people may hurt you and say they wouldn't, it's not everybody.

    (*hug*)
     
    #20 Pret Allez, Oct 22, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012